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Balsamic Glazed 
Cornish Game Hens


Cornish game hens are a cross between a White Rock hen and a Cornish hen. 
Donald John Tyson wanted to create a specialty item which would appeal to "foodies." 
The hens look like miniature chickens and the flavor
is the same, except I find the 
meat to be quite a bit more tender. The standard size is about 1 1/4 pounds and one-half 

hen is sufficient as a course if you are serving many courses. They are easy to split in half 
and roasting is the best
method of cooking them. For more recipes you can see this 
wonderful collection of
Cornish Game Hen recipes. I like to make this dish in a 
13-inch oven safe nonstick griddle
pan from Calphalon. You can then 

just place the pan on the stovetop to complete the recipe and make the glaze.

You can use plain dark brown sugar, but Muscovado is superior

in taste and is just the best brown sugar you will find. 




2 Cornish Game Hens (2 1/2 pounds)




1 cup balsamic vinegar 

(or look for Grey Poupon Balsamic Vinegar at your local store)

1 whole garlic bulb, cut in half horizontally

1 large yellow onion, chopped

4 springs fresh rosemary



Pan juices

1 tablespoon muscovado brown sugar

1 teaspoon chicken base


Freshly ground Tellicherry peppercorns

Seasoning salt



1. Place a large resealable bag in a plastic container (for safety! in case the 
    bag breaks because the bones on the chicken are pretty sharp when the chicken 

    is cut in half.). Then, cut the hens in half using a sharp butcher knife. This is pretty 

    easy and won't take much effort.

2. Place halved hens in the plastic bag. Top with the balsamic vinegar, garlic, 

    chopped onions and sprigs of rosemary. 

3. Close the bag and seal to keep in juices. Marinate overnight or at least 12 hours 

    and turn the bag at least once during the marinating process. 

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

5. An hour before serving, dump the entire bag (marinade and all) out into the 

    13-inch griddle pan. Arrange the halves so that the wings are facing up. Top each 

    with a rosemary sprig.



Calphalon Professional Nonstick
13-inch oven safe griddle pan
Chefs Catalog


6. Roast uncovered for 1 hour. 

7. Set the roasted hens on a serving platter. Strain the juices and return them to the 

    pan. Simmer until reduced almost by half. Tilt the pan so you can remove most of 

    the grease which is clear and easy to remove with a large spoon. 

8. Heat over medium heat and add the brown sugar and chicken base. Cook just 

    until thickened and has the appearance of a glaze. Pour the glaze over the hens 

    and serve with a sprinkling of freshly ground pepper and a bit of seasoning salt. 


    Hint: Serve with your favorite herbed rice and vegetables. You can also add a 

    bit more sugar to taste. You can also just season the glaze instead of seasoning 

    each hen-half before serving. If you can't find Cornish hens, you could use 

    chicken pieces. 


    Serves 4 when you have other courses or serves 2 as 
    an elegant main course.




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